Kia Picanto 3dr revealed

15 Aug, 2011 11:02am Jack Rix

Kia has released official details and pictures of the sportier version of its city car

Three doors or five? That’s the decision now facing buyers of Kia’s new Picanto. The city car was previously offered only as a five-door, but these first official pictures reveal the sportier variant, on sale at the start of next month.

Prices kick off at £7,795 – that’s £200 less than the cheapest five-door – and rise to £11,695 for the high-spec Equinox.

Despite the stubbier looks, the three-door has identical dimensions to the five-door, so interior space and crash safety are maintained. Apart from the obvious changes to the car’s profile, there’s a larger grille opening, with silver or red trim running around the edge. The front bumper has been reprofiled for a lower and wider look, while the rear bumper gets a black rectangular insert instead of body-coloured paint.

These tweaks are designed to deliver a sportier stance – a theme that’s finished off with the chrome-tipped twin exhausts.

Inside, the front seats tilt and slide for access to the rear, but the switchgear and layout are identical to the five-door’s.

Engines are also carried over, so there’s a choice between 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre petrol units. The smaller of the two offers 68bhp and 95Nm of torque, and claims 67.3mpg economy, plus CO2 emissions of 99g/km to give exemption from road tax. There’s a choice of entry-level 1 trim and 1 Air, which includes air-con.

The more powerful 84bhp 1.25-litre engine powers the Halo and Equinox models. This is a departure from the 2 and 3 naming structure used on the five-door, and follows the lines of the Burner, Echo and Searcher versions of the Soul supermini-MPV. Halo and Equinox cars offer a high spec in a small package.

Both get Bluetooth hands-free with voice recognition, plus auto lights and LED daytime running lamps. The Halo is marked out by 14-inch alloys, heated front seats and rear parking sensors, while the black and grey trim is offset by a white gloss centre stack.

The Equinox adds red trim, 15-inch wheels, keyless entry and Galaxy Black metallic paint.

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The piano black interior looks good. The white touches in the 5 door model didn't IMO look as good as it might. Now all I'll have to do is see all the specs at my local dealer. I fancied a 1.0 in "2" spec, but that doesn't seem to carry over to the three door. It certainly does look stylish and is yet another example of Kia getting it right, again.

Kia and Hyundai are going to shift the market for the better.

sorry ladies!

All the funkyness of the 107 / C1 / Aygo, but bigger, smarter and with a stonking big warranty. Pricing will be crucial, though.
I was going to upsize... I may now reconsider.

Better proportioned than the Ka, with a more grown-up, yet still stylish, interior. Watch this trundle out of the showrooms...

AEX 1,341
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